People who want a Tarot reading often want a simple yes/no answer. Often, the modern reader will say that we need to reframe that, the Tarot is for insight and understanding, not to answer yes or no. But suppose that’s really what’s needed?

I was trying to decide something, and not sure how I would put whatever cards came up into a context that would give me a yes or no answer. But then I realized that some of the cards were reversed and it struck me that it doesn’t have to matter which cards came up or what they mean for something so simple as yes or no. I turned the deck face up and separated all the cards into two piles, one, the right side up and two, the reversed. If the right side up pile was greater the answer was yes, if smaller the answer was no. In this case, there were only 25 reversed, and 53 right side up! A resounding yes.

There’s another way to do it that doesn’t involve separating or counting the cards. Choose a card in your mind that would represent a yes.
Say you are wondering about whether to remodel your house (I’m actually having the kitchen done so it’s on my mind). I might choose the 10 of Rivers from the Shining Tribe Tarot. Based on the Rider-Waite-Smith 10 of Cups, it shows a man and woman celebrating their home. Okay, then you mix the cards, again in such a way that some will come out upside down. Now you look through the deck until you come to your chosen card. If it’s ride up the answer is yes, if reversed the answer is no.

If you want some illumination around the issue, and not just yes or no, you look at the cards on either side of the chosen one, and they will tell you something about your issue.

And now a kind of post-post: As I was typing I noticed a crumpled fortune cookie paper to the side of my computer. When I picked it up and opened it, it read “The sure way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm  Comments (15)  

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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Just love the fortune cookie ending …. I like the idea of choosing the card that would represent the answer and looking for it and seeing if it is reversed or dignified. Thanks Rachel

  2. Very interesting methods! I will definitely try them. For yes/no answers, I usually shuffle and pull one card – upright means yes, reversed means no, and the card meaning itself is the illumination.

  3. I have two more for you:

    Option 1: Phallic symbols (swords, rods, air and fire) = yes
    Yonic symbols (cups, pentacles, water and earth) = no
    Major Arcana = maybe/rephrase question

    Option 2: lay the cards down face up, counting them until you reach an ace or a ten (if you get past 22, start count from 1 again.) Ace = yes, 10 = no, and how many cards it took to get there corresponds to a major arcana card, which gives more insight.

  4. I like what you say here and especially the fortune cookie ending. What you say about the reversed card reminds me a bit of tossing a coin for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. I don’t think I will follow your idea exactly but it certainly sparks different ideas off in me. Thank you.

  5. You are right. People often want a direct ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and this has its uses, not least as a basis for further enquiry. A variant I use is to pull a significator to represent the question as the Tarot sees it then count out another seven cards. 1,2,3 in a row, Card Number 4 goes next to the question card, then 5,6,7 complete the row.

    I count the uprights as yeses, reversals as nos. Each card counts as 1 point. That Fourth card counts as 2 points, and contains ‘key’ advice.

    How many yeses out of eight? More than 4/8 uprights, Tarot, ‘it say YESSSS’. Less than 4/8 uprights,Tarot ‘it say NOOOO’.
    4/4 = Hmmm. Another question required. OR to break the deadlock, just pull one more card. Does it sway the answer yes-ward or no-ward?

    This spread, using an even number of 8 points, allows me to easily express a yes or no probability, which some people prefer to a straight prediction eg. ‘It’s 75 percent likely that…..’

    The individual cards will suggest the reasons why we are getting a yes, no or maybe.

    It is very rare but it has happened, that I have got an 8/8, 100% yes or no.

  6. I have often used reversed cards as a ‘no’ on their own but haven’t ever thought about looking at the proportion of reversed cards to upright cards in the whole deck. What a great alternative method for getting a yes/no answer! Thanks for sharing!

  7. […] Pollack posted an unusual and spontaneous method of obtaining a yes/no answer in her post this […]

  8. I love these! Thank you. The other day I did a reading where my friend just wanted a yes or no answer, and I didn’t have any experience with any of these methods. As it turned out, the reading was mostly court cards, something I’ve rarely seen.

  9. […] Tricks of the Trade […]

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  12. […] it can and it does. But it’s not a lot of fun. And personally, I don’t think this is an effective way to […]

  13. I was just checking links in some old articles, and while doing so found this page. There are apparently a myriad of ways to derive a yes or no answer from the Tarot. It’s probably a good idea to test multiple methods, especially if you’ve not found one that you really click with yet.

    I love the suggestion you’ve made to think of a card and search for it to see if it’s inverse… nice one!

  14. […] Pollack posted an unusual and spontaneous method of obtaining a yes/no answer in her post this weekend. Joseph Martin provides an easy way for you to obtain a yes/no answer in […]

  15. Easier way: cut the deck with your left hand. An even number of cards = yes
    odd number of cards = no.

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